Ex-DOH chiefs: RH bill for social justice, health
MANILA, Philippines – More than population control, the Reproductive Health (RH) bill is about health and social justice.
Former heads of the Department of Health (DOH) stressed this as they pushed for the passage of the RH bill, the subject of a crucial vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, August 6.
Doctors Esperanza Cabral and Alberto Romualdez said that the (RH) bill should not just be labeled as a population control measure. They said the bill is intended to help address the “deteriorating health” of Filipinos.
Cabral said that without an RH law, poor families will be at a disadvantage. She said that it is the right of all Filipinos to have access to information and services to allow them to make an informed choice on the size of their family.
“The passage of the RH bill is a matter of social justice,” said Cabral. “If we want easier access to health care for everybody, there is no way we should not pass the RH bill.”
The House will vote on whether or not to terminate debates on the RH bill. Ending the debates will move the bill forward to the period of amendments. Extending the debates will kill time for its passage.
The vote was initially scheduled on August 7 but the schedule was suddenly moved earlier after lawmakers met with President Benigno Aquino III in Malacañang Monday morning.
‘Look at women, children’
Romualdez said the debate must be expanded to consider the public health system and the death of young and poor women from childbirth and pregnancy-related complications.
“The opponents of the RH bill were reportedly saying that it is a population control measure disguised as a health measure. This is illustrative of the quality of argumentation. We just accept without taking a look at the young women who get pregnant.”
Romualdez also debunked arguments that legislation is not needed to promote reproductive health. He said institutionalizing RH programs will benefit “the future generation."
The former health secretaries join advocates in the House, non-governmental organizations, and international health groups in pushing for the RH bill. Cabral and Romualdez have been assisting authors of the RH bill during debates in Congress.
The group faces a strong anti-RH lobby from Catholic bishops, who vowed to block the passage of the bill. – Rappler.com
For more updates on the issue of the RH Bill, view our #RHBill Debate Microsite.
Read on for other views on the RH Bill debate:
|Yes to RH Bill||No to RH Bill|
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